Theresa May has already stolen the chancellor's thunder by announcing an extra £2 billion a year for research by 2020.
An industrial strategy challenge fund that will route funding through Innovate UK will be announced by Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the exchequer, in his autumn statement today, reports Research Fortnight, our sister publication. Innovate UK will receive a slug of cash—possibly in the hundreds of millions—to promote technological innovation, it says. An accompanying editorial notes that such spending best serves people in highly skilled occupations and those in academic life, rather than the millions of families who are just about managing. It warns: “Unless the situation for these families changes for the better, it won’t be just one cabinet minister saying ‘we have had enough of experts’. It could be an entire new government.” Elsewhere the Financial Times advises readers to brace themselves for an autumn statement of the blindingly obvious: the public finances are deteriorating due to Brexit uncertainty and the chancellor will have to relax budgetary rules that aimed to eliminate the deficit by 2020. It adds that George Freeman, who chairs the prime minister’s policy board, has called for financial incentives to encourage investment in the life sciences.